Guru and Krishna
(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada and London Isvara, 1969)

"It is not possible for a conditioned soul to directly meet Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but if one becomes a sincere devotee and seriously engages in devotional service, Lord Krishna sends an instructing spiritual master to show him favor and invoke his dormant propensity for serving the Supreme. The preceptor appears before the external senses of the fortunate conditioned soul, and at the same time the devotee is guided from within by the caitya-guru, Krishna, who is seated as the spiritual master within the heart of the living entity."

(Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 1.58, Purport)

"The Paramatma is always the caitya-guru, the spiritual master within, and He comes before one externally as the instructor and initiator spiritual master. The Lord can reside within the heart, and He can also come out before a person and give him instructions. Thus the spiritual master is not different from the Supersoul sitting within the heart."

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.52, Purport)

"When we rightly take the direction of the Supersoul, our life becomes successful. He is directing from within and from without. From within He is directing as caitya-guru, or the spiritual master sitting within the heart. Indirectly He is also helping the living entity by manifesting Himself as the spiritual master outside. In both ways the Lord is giving directions to the living entity so that he may finish up his material activities and come back home, back to Godhead."

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.22.37, Purport)

"The representative spiritual master never gives any false knowledge to his disciple, but only perfect knowledge. Thus he is the representative of Krishna. Krishna helps as the guru, or spiritual master, from within and from without. From without He helps the devotee as His representative, and from within He talks personally with the pure devotee and gives him instructions by which he may return home, back to Godhead."

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.15.76, Purport)

"The Vedic knowledge is given to everyone because Krishna is in everyone's heart. Sarvasya caham hrdi sannivistah (BG 15.15). He's sitting in everyone's heart. But one must be qualified to receive the knowledge. Krishna is helping us from within. He is giving us knowledge from within. Without also. So without, He's spiritual master. And within He's Supersoul, caitya-guru. In this way, we are getting knowledge."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, April 26, 1973)

"So a spiritual master or a representative of Krishna or a mahatma, he is prasanta. Prasanta means he is freed from all these manufacturing process of the mind. He is no more conducted by the dictation of the mind. He is conducted by the dictation of Krishna, or Krishna's words. Just like Bhagavad-gita, Krishna's words. Krishna and Krishna's words are not different. So if you abide by the words of Krishna, just like Bhagavad-gita -- there are many others -- then you are abiding by Krishna. You are not abiding by the dictation of your mind. That should be the motto of our life. And a spiritual master or mahatma is he who is situated in that position. He is not dictated by the mind. He is simply following the scriptural injunctions. Therefore he is prasanta."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, London, September 14, 1969)

"If you are actually hankering after Krishna -- Krishna is within yourself -- He will give you a guru. He will give you a guru. Guru-krsna-krpaya. But we must be fortunate to get real guru. If I am unfortunate, I'll not get a guru."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bhuvanesvara, January 23, 1977)

"Krishna is so kind. Guru-krsna-krpa. Krishna is helping from within, but sometimes we are so dull, naturally, that we cannot understand. Therefore He sends His representative to instruct externally. So He is helping internally and externally. There is no difference between the internal and external instructor. We should take advantage of this instruction. That is called vyavasayatmika buddhih, fixed-up resolution. Fixed-up resolution. If we become fixed up in this resolution, that 'Whatever we have heard from my guru, the representative of Krishna, I must execute. I do not care for my personal convenience or inconvenience. This is my life and soul,' then your life is perfect. If I make some amendment, addition, alteration, in the name of Krishna, guru, then it is spoiled. No. We should receive the instruction as it is."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Mayapur, October 28, 1974)

"Krishna is the original Spiritual Master known as Chaitya Guru and He manifests Himself as the Instructor Spiritual Master. So this principle of following Krishna and Guru simultaneously is the secret of success, and if you follow this policy in the chain of disciplic succession than there is no doubt about your final achievement."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 21, 1970)

"Krishna also accepted guru. So how you will get the ultimate goal of life without accepting guru? Why do you manufacture this idea? There is no need of manufacturing this. You have to follow. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah (CC Madhya 17.186). If you manufacture, then you'll be cheated. Don't do this. That has become a fashion, that you manufacture your own way of service. That is not possible. Therefore Rupa Gosvami stresses, adau-gurvasrayam: 'The first business is that you must find out a bona fide guru.' Then other things."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bhuvanesvara, January 23, 1977)

"As soon as you become Krishna conscious and you follow the rules and regulations under the direction of your bona fide spiritual master, at that time you become yourself bona fide. And as soon as you become bona fide, the response from within will come because Krishna is within you. Krishna is everywhere. Krishna does not mean... Just like the sunshine, the sunlight, is everywhere, similarly, Krishna is everywhere. As we understand from the Brahma-samhita, andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham: (Bs. 5.35) 'Krishna, or God, is within this universe and within this room, within your heart, even within the atom.' Andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham. So Krishna is within you. As soon as you become sincere, Krishna responds from within. If you want Krishna, or God, sincerely, then the help will come two ways: from without, from within. From without, by these books of knowledge, by the instruction of spiritual master, you will get help from without. And as soon as you are serious to follow, then you will get instruction from within also, within."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Montreal, June 12, 1968)

Devotee: Prabhupada, how can we know what type of service Krishna...

Prabhupada: Therefore you have got spiritual master. Why he is there? Therefore you have to accept spiritual master who will give you direction. You cannot do it. If you manufacture your own way, then go to hell. Yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau, tasyaite kathita hy arthah (SU 6.23). Krishna is there; guru is there. Why should you manufacture your own way? If you are sincere, Krishna will dictate from within. Tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam. Find out this verse. Tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam, buddhi-yogam dadami tam.

Devotee: 10.10

Prabhupada: Krishna is ready to give you instruction. The spiritual master is ready. Why should you do at your whims, and do something wrong and go to hell? Yes?

Devotee (2):

  tesam satata-yuktanam
  bhajatam priti-purvakam
  dadami buddhi-yogam tam
  yena mam upayanti te
  (BG 10.10)

"To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me."

Prabhupada: That's all. Krishna is within you. He'll give you. As soon as you become a pure devotee, all dictation will come from within. And besides that, Krishna is helping, inside and outside. Outside is spiritual master; inside Krishna Himself. Where is the difficulty? Simply you have to become sincere. That's all. Everything is there.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Honolulu, January 23, 1974)

"Krishna is very kind. He is helping you in different ways. He is within your heart. Krishna is within your heart. Antaryami. Caitya-guru. And is presenting Himself as spiritual master both ways, externally, internally. He is trying to help you. And when you are actually taking the advantage of that help, and if you are engaged with love and affection in the transcendental service of the Lord, then you can talk with God from within. God is within you. You haven't got to find out God in so many places. Anywhere you can sit down. But if you are sincere, if you are actually wanting to offer your service to the Lord -- tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam, dadami buddhi-yogam tam (BG 10.10) -- He will give you intelligence. Simply we have to become sincere servitor."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Columbus, May 14, 1969)

"Krishna is so kind that He wants to help us as Spiritual Master in two ways. He helps us from within as Caitya Guru and He expands Himself externally as Siksa Guru (as instructor) and diksa Guru (initiator). So the principle is that whatever you are instructed by the Caitya Guru internally may be confirmed by the instructor or initiator externally. Then your progress will be complete."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 21, 1969)

"Perhaps you remember the verse in the tenth chapter of Bhagavad-gita that the Lord Himself supplies the light and intelligence from within the heart of a devotee who is constantly engaged in His transcendental loving service. So, the secret of success is that one should be eager to serve the Spiritual Master and Krsna simultaneously with the same regard and things will become automatically revealed in the heart of the devotee."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 26, 1970)

"There are two gurus -- one internal and the other external. The internal Guru is Krishna Himself seated in everyone's heart, and the external Guru is the Spiritual Master. So a sincere devotee is helped both externally and internally. To the sincere devotee the internal Guru Krishna dictates, but the thing has to be confirmed by the external Guru then it is all right."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 14, 1968)

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, when you are not present with us, how is it possible to receive instructions, for example, on questions that may arise?

Prabhupada: Well, the questions... Answers are there in my books.

Devotee: Other than that, for example, that we would ask you in...

Prabhupada: Yes.

Devotee: Do you direct us also through the heart? Besides the Paramatma?

Prabhupada: If your heart is pure. Everything depends on purity.

(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Los Angeles, May 13, 1973)

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